Figures reveal EU staff continue to leave key NHS roles at Royal Surrey Hospital

December 3, 2019 2:26 PM

Brexit negatively impacts staff retention at Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust, the Liberal Democrats have warned.

Figures published by the Liberal Democrats reveal that 78 EU staff working at Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust have already left the health service this year including 21 nurses and midwives. 

In the three years since the Brexit vote, 301 NHS staff from the EU have left the local trust. Staff departures from Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust are part of a worrying national trend: over 3,250 NHS staff from the EU have left the health service so far this year, including 1,116 nurses. The data, based on responses to Freedom of Information requests across 50 NHS hospital trusts, reveals that:

• Over 11,600 NHS staff from the EU have left the health service in the three years since the Brexit vote, including 4,783 nurses.
• Over 3,252 NHS staff from the EU have left the health service so far this year (Jan - Oct 2019), including 1,116 nurses.

Paul Kennedy ()

The Liberal Democrats have warned that shortages of NHS staff will get even worse under Conservative plans that would see EU nationals charged a "nurse tax" worth thousands of pounds to come and work for the NHS. Nurses and other health professionals from the EU do not currently pay any fees to come and work for the NHS.

However, under Conservative proposals, visa fees and the NHS surcharge would be extended to EU workers, meaning an EU nurse would have to pay £1,089 to work in the NHS for the first year and £3,589 for five years. 



Liberal Democrat candidate for Mole Valley, Paul Kennedy, said: "These shocking figures reveal the damage Brexit has already done to the NHS in Surrey and it's set to get worse if the Tories were to be re-elected. 

"The Conservatives' obsession with Brexit has already cost our NHS dearly. Now the Tories want to clobber hardworking NHS staff with a nurse tax that will cost them thousands to come and work in the NHS. It's no wonder that NHS staff from the EU in Surrey are leaving their posts. Unfortunately, it's patient care that will suffer as a result.

"Only the Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit to protect our NHS. We will make clear to staff from the EU that they are valued, tackle the staffing crisis and invest an extra £35 billion in health and social care."